80 entries categorized "News"

We answered the call and got the job done

KING 5: Hundreds rush to get COVID-19 vaccine in Seattle overnight after freezer failure

A total of 1,650 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at risk of expiring Thursday night were quickly administered to more than a thousand people at UW and Swedish clinics.

SEATTLE — Hundreds of people rushed to Seattle University and University of Washington clinics late Thursday night to try and receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the doses expired.

Spokespeople for both Swedish and UW said that a freezer storing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine broke at Kaiser Permanente, leaving 1,650 doses of the vaccine at risk of expiring.

Swedish and UW split the doses and began administering them.

"Teams worked vigilantly and in close partnership through the night and early morning to ensure all doses were used and no vaccination lost,” a Kaiser Permanente Washington representative said.

Swedish posted an urgent message on social media around 11 p.m. Thursday saying it had hundreds of appointments available from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. to use the vaccines before they expired by the morning. Hundreds of people answered the call and showed up in their pajamas and robes to receive their first dose of the vaccine.

Swedish Medical Center COO Kevin Brooks said the available appointments were filled within 35-40 minutes.

“We got a call from a partner hospital that they had a fridge malfunction and they needed to vaccinate 880 people,” said Brooks. “I pulled our team together, our vaccine team at Swedish, and we huddled on Microsoft Teams and came up with a plan, and 30 minutes later we came on site.”

I got the call at 22:00 and I was on-site by 22:40. We were fully operational barely 30 minutes later.

What an incredible experience. So glad I get to be part of it.


Media coverage of the Swedish community vaccine clinic at Seattle University

I’ve been working at this clinic since January 11th as a volunteer and patient registration lead. Long days leave us feeling pretty wiped out, but the sense of community and shared purpose is amazing, and the excitement patients express at receiving their vaccine doses is so wonderful to see.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of links to media coverage, mostly local, in chronological order. I’ll add to the list as I see new coverage pop up. Links open in new windows.


Washington Post: How one of America’s ugliest days unraveled inside and outside the Capitol

Jan. 6, 2021, was always on the country’s radar.

Two runoff elections that would determine control of the Senate still had not been decided as Tuesday became Wednesday. A joint session of Congress convened to certify Joe Biden’s electoral-vote win while thousands gathered on the Mall in support of President Trump, who continued to falsely claim that the election was stolen from him.

[The four-hour insurrection: How a Trump mob halted American democracy]

As the scene in D.C. continued to darken, smaller demonstrations across the nation also flared, forcing officials in several statehouses to evacuate.

This is how the day unfolded.

See the full detailed timeline. [$$]


Kieran Healy: “What Happened?”

Healy’s analysis of GOP expectations vs. reality in the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. Snips:

I don’t know what happened. But here’s my current theory of what the White House thought was going to happen. I don’t have any more information than you do, and here I’m not concerned with the broader question of how the country came to this end. I am just trying to make sense of what happened on Wednesday. [...]

The plan for Wednesday was to have Trump go down and rile up the MAGA crowd, have them march up to the Capitol steps, and look like a big mass of people demanding something be done. Thanks to some preparatory cleansing of the DoD leadership last month (again, in outline pretty clear evidence that they intended to subvert the election), the White House had made sure there wouldn’t be much to stop the crowd from getting real close and making a lot of noise. The optics would be good. And the cops on duty wouldn’t go too hard on their MAGA buddies in any case. [...]

Once the ructions were underway, and the objections from Hawley and Cruz and others were being debated, Trump would call some Senators to push them to object or generally delay or whatever. At a minimum, anything to derail the process. And as a best outcome—well, this bit is one of those ?????? Underpants Gnomes stages that features in all half-thought-out Trumpy plans—between the direct pressure from Trump and the noise from the masses gathered outside (just look at those TV pictures!), there would be some big shift as Senators realized their base was against them and they’d vote to reject the Electoral votes and send everything back to the States. Or there would be chaos on the Senate floor and someone like Cruz would hope to capitalize on it to reach some quasi-legitimate “Compromise of 2021”. Or something. I’m not saying this makes much sense in terms of things that definitely had to happen. It’s more that they saw potential to seize the initiative in some real-time moment of uncertainty with the house divided and the crowd outside.

The crowd outside. [...] [B]ecause this was an event that Trump was going to be at himself, the idea was probably that from the crowd’s point of view it’d go more like a regular rally, as opposed to something like Charlottesville or the Michigan Statehouse. That is, from the White House’s point of view, the crowd was not actually supposed to get inside the Capitol. The MAGA/Q contingent are the useful marks in all this. They believe all the crap they’re fed. But obviously they’re not going to get into the building. It’s the US Capitol for God’s sake! The very idea that the rush of events would propel them right into the chambers was not something the White House wanted to happen, or thought was going to happen.

Of course, before the rally some of the actually dangerous Q-marinated nutters absolutely did want to get inside the building, find Pence, and Pelosi, and the rest, and literally take them hostage and string them up. They talked about this a lot on their message boards. The White House was probably well aware of these ideas.

Read the whole thing here. Well worth the time.


New restrictions announced in Washington state

They go into effect Monday at 23:59 (Tuesday 23:59 for restaurants).

Gov. Inslee orders sweeping restrictions on indoor gatherings, restaurants, bars, gyms as COVID-19 cases surge in Washington state

Social, economic and cultural life in Washington will grind to a halt at 11:59 p.m. Monday night, as Gov. Jay Inslee orders broad restrictions and shutdowns for restaurants, theaters, gyms and all indoor gatherings in an effort to slow the state’s burgeoning coronavirus epidemic.

Inslee, Sunday morning, ordered restaurants and bars to shutdown indoor service and to limit outdoor service to parties of five or less. Indoor gyms and fitness centers must also shutdown. Same with movie theaters, bowling alleys and museums. Indoor gatherings with people outside your household will be prohibited unless participants have quarantined for at least a week and tested negative.

“Today, Sunday, November 15, 2020, is the most dangerous public health day in the last 100 years of our state’s history,” Inslee said in prepared remarks. “A pandemic is raging in our state. Left unchecked, it will assuredly result in grossly overburdened hospitals and morgues; and keep people from obtaining routine but necessary medical treatment for non-COVID conditions.”


Here we go again 🤦🏼‍♂️

From the Seattle Times: Inslee to ban indoor gatherings and dining, plus issue more COVID-19 restrictions for Washington state, industry sources say

Gov. Jay Inslee will announce sweeping new restrictions Sunday to curb surging COVID-19 cases, including a ban on indoor social gatherings and indoor service at restaurants and bars, and sharp occupancy limits for retailers, according to industry officials briefed by the governor’s staff.


This is a good day.

Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

Beautiful writing from the majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.


Families, Habitat for Humanity use housing bust to start anew (Seattle Times)

Nonprofit homebuilder Habitat for Humanity sees the national foreclosure crisis as an opportunity.

Habitat’s Seattle/South King County chapter recently purchased two foreclosed single-family homes in Kent’s East Hill neighborhood and is in the process of buying another. Instead of the typical building a new home from the ground up, Habitat crews have spent all winter refurbishing them, getting them ready for occupancy.

via Seattle Times; I added links

Another way Habitat for Humanity provides decent, affordable housing where it’s needed. Glad at least one good thing can come out of this national financial crisis.


Squatters Pub Brewery brewmaster Jennifer Talley wins another award

Jennifer Talley, the brewmaster at Squatters Pub Brewery in Salt Lake City, has won the prestigious Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. She is the first woman to receive the honor since it was first presented in 1997 by the national Brewers Association.

She recevied the award last week during the Craft Brewers Conference in Boulder, Colorado.

A native of Chicago, Talley has been the head brewer at Squatters since 1994. Utah beer lovers know she is always experimenting with new beer styles and ingredients creating award winners such as Alt & In The Way, a gold medal winner at the 2008 World Beer Cup.

via www.sltrib.com

Good news! Squatters is my fave brewpub, glad to see the recognition.


You can HEAR the anguished wringing of hands

It’s snowing in the Seattle area, which means two things.

  1. Area school districts started announcing changes to their schedules, or outright closures, more than 24 hours ago, at the first hint of snow in the forecasts.
  2. Drivers are freaked the hell out.

The snow is sticking to lawns, roofs, and trees, but it’s barely making the roads wet yet. However, the forecast calls for up to 3 inches of accumulation from Seattle southward by this afternoon.

I am of course in heaven. I was born and raised (and more importantly learned to drive) in Salt Lake City, where men are men and holy underwear is the norm, and where they get REAL snow. Where by “real” I mean in quantities of inches at a time, sometimes a foot or more, and as the license plates will confirm it’s the greatest snow on Earth.

Which means that anytime the Seattle weather forecasts mention snow or La Niña or “Arctic flow” or the other winter-weather flag phrases, I get a little giddy. I remember the years of walking to school uphill in the snow (but one way only) and the inevitable late-night sledding sessions down the block-long alley across the street, including that time Matt almost got crushed by the bus on 6th Avenue but only his sled bit the dust because of his expertly timed ninja dodge maneuver, and the look of utter horror on the bus driver’s face when he felt the bus’s front right tire go over SOMETHING (and probably felt the crunching of the sled’s wood deck) and he had seen a teenager waving wildly on the sidewalk just before that.

Ahh, the memories.

Anyway, back to now. Yesterday we had several brief periods of “snow”—really, it was the hardened version of Seattle’s famous misty rain. You had squint to see it—it made NOTHING wet, not roads, not cars, certainly not exposed skin. Immortalized in a conversation with Julie Anne as we had a late pre-Thanksgiving-shopping breakfast at Original Pancake House in Crown Hill:

Don: Oh look, it’s snowing again.

Julie Anne [squinting]: It is?

Don: You have to really want to see it.

Julie Anne [pause, still squinting]: Oooohh.

Laffs all ’round!

It certainly doesn’t help that the media here in Seattle buy into the frenzy wholeheartedly. KOMO News radio usually switches to their astoundingly lame “driver to driver coverage”: Joe Sixpack calls in on their news line and reports what he may or may have seen, or sometimes what he expects to see, or what his wife’s coworker’s neighbor said she once saw. And somehow the metro area hangs on his every word. Usually delivered all in a rush, because Joe Sixpack is not a professional radio personality and so has no clue about modulation and pace:

KOMO personality: We have Joe from Medina on the KOMO News Line. Joe, tell us what you see.

Joe: Yeah so I was driving on 520 toward I-5 and as I got to Montlake I saw a snowflake and I slammed on the brakes and a semi and a bus behind me almost crashed as they tried to avoid me and I spilled my Starbucks all over the dashboard and now I have to go to the detailer.

KOMO: O...kay, thanks, Joe. Now to Melinda in Shoreline, you have have something to tell us about the power up there?

Melinda: Well our schools are all closed and our power is on, it hasn’t even flickered. But we have about an inch of snow and my driveway is really icy.

KOMO: ...

And so on. It just never ends. I know (or at least I think) they think they’re providing a necessary civic service, but come on.

Really they’re just enabling the cold-weather-pansy mentality.


Proving wrong the old adage about stuff not growing on trees*

Via a BBC News article:

A novel—and natural—way of creating new bones for humans could be just a few years away.

Scientists in Italy have developed a way of turning rattan wood into bone that is almost identical to the human tissue.

* Yes, I know rattans are not, strictly speaking, trees, but are more like vines. But the metaphor/lame joke doesn’t work if the facts are paid strict attention.


Kinda weird day this has been

My Tuesday started out as a fairly dull day at work and ended with my subpoena as a witness in a criminal matter.

Jumping backward a bit....

Way back in January, I was involved as a witness in a domestic-violence assault incident in my apartment building. I was the second person to call 9-1-1, and I ended up giving several statements over the course of the day. It was rather a harrowing experience as a witness—I can’t even imagine what it must have been like from the victim’s perspective.

In typical fashion, once all the hoopla had died down, the incident mostly left my conscious thought except for occasional reminders. I was asked to tell the story a lot over the next few weeks as I saw family and friends who knew about the whole thing, but hadn’t heard any details. But after those retellings, it faded from my immediate memory until occasional reminders like brief mentions in the newspaper came along. And most of those came fairly early on—here’s one from Jan 29 and I can’t find the article I’m vaguely remembering from midsummer sometime. When the six-month mark passed without further word from the police or the courts, I assumed it probably had been disposed by plea bargain or something along those lines.

Cue my arrival home today to find a file cabinet’s worth of subpoena paperwork taped to the building’s main entrance door. Seven total; mine’s the one on the lower right.

Subpoenas taped to my building’s main entrance doors
I imagine the recipient of that UPS InfoNotice was pretty intimidated by this display of summonsy goodness.

Anyway, yeah. Three pages of paperwork demanding my presence at the courthouse in downtown Seattle on or about January 25, which coincidentally happens to be the one-year anniversary of the attack.

So how was your Tuesday?


For your holiday pleasure: Lighted boats on the weekend

Since we live in one of the more nautical corners of the planet, it’s almost considered mutinous not to watch a parade of brightly decorated boats every December. You have multiple chances to join in the salty holiday spirit this weekend.

View the full article on the Seattle Times site: Lighted boats will buoy up your holiday spirits


Ah ha, the power was out!

Some 6,000 to 7,000 City Light customers on Lower Queen Anne, including portions of the Seattle Center and the Space Needle, went without electricity for 45 minutes early this morning

via seattletimes.nwsource.com

No wonder my microwave and stereo were doing the 12:00 --:-- 12:00 --:-- 12:00 --:-- 12:00 blinkies this morning. Kind of weird to find out about an immediately local event via the newspapers a few hours after it happened, though.

And I suppose it’s a good thing I use my phone as an alarm clock.


BBC - Earth News - Giant ‘meat-eating’ plant found

A new species of giant carnivorous plant has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines.

The pitcher plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is so big that it can catch rats as well as insects in its leafy trap.

via news.bbc.co.uk

Fascinating. Also: I can never go anywhere near the central Philippine highlands—in fact, I’m a bit leery of their existence with us ON THE SAME PLANET.


See, it isn’t as hot as they say it is

Seattle’s 101° feels like 100°All this heat? It’s clearly in our heads.

We can see that quite plainly from weather.com’s temperature indicator just now.

As an aside:

It’s 90.5° in my living room at this moment, up from 89.2° when I arrived home an hour and 20 minutes ago.

I can’t wait for Sunday when I’ll be on the way to Hawaii. :-)


Been kind of a crazy week

On Sunday morning there was an assault and stabbing in my building. Happened to be my neighbors, and I was the second person to call 911. Spent much of the rest of the day talking to police, writing a statement, giving a recorded interview with a Domestic Violence Unit detective.

I talked quite a bit about this on Twitter Sunday*, but I haven’t mentioned it here until now. I wasn’t sure if I was going to mention it here at all, since it involves other people in a sensitive story, but I decided since it was part of my life and the victim’s anonymity has been maintained in the news coverage, posting about that coverage was okay.

Anyway. After the jump, the latest story about the case from one of the local papers.

* See (in this order) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Continue reading "Been kind of a crazy week" »


Seattle’s plowing silliness is by design

According to the Seattle Times article after the jump, the last several days’ delight of iced roads and daily insanity is fully intended by their snow-removal and traffic policies:

Update 12/31/08: Seattle will use salt in future winter storms.

Continue reading "Seattle’s plowing silliness is by design" »


Mark Hacking sentenced for murdering his wife

He was sentenced to 6 years to life in prison for shooting Lori Soares to death while she slept and then dumping her body in a trash bin.

Stories and links below the cut from CNN.com, The Salt Lake Tribune, and Deseret Morning News; also the Soares family statement from the Trib.

Continue reading "Mark Hacking sentenced for murdering his wife" »


Salt Lake Tribune: Hacking deal looks likely

Occurred to me I hadn't followed any news on this case for quite a while. I was hoping there'd be a trial so we might get some insight into the workings of the mind that decides killing a person is better than divorcing her, but I see that's unlikely now.

Not that much more likely with a trial, sure, but the chance is a bit greater I think.

I hope if Mark Hacking pleads out that it provides the Soares family with some comfort.

Entire Tribune story below the cut.

Continue reading "Salt Lake Tribune: Hacking deal looks likely" »


Lori Soares’ family removes married name from headstone

Salt Lake Tribune: Name ‘Hacking’ struck from headstone
Her mother: Donates decorative angels sent to her to a shelter for abused and neglected children



image not available
The Soares family has replaced the name ‘Hacking’ on their slain daughter’s gravestone with ‘Filhinha,’ which is Portuguese for ‘little daughter’
Rick Egan, The Salt Lake Tribune
Lori Hacking’s family has changed her headstone at the Orem City Cemetery to remove “Hacking” from her name. It now reads “Lori Kay Soares.”

Police found Lori Hacking’s body on Oct. 1 at a landfill they had been searching since mid-July, shortly after Mark Hacking reported his 27-year-old wife failed to return from an early morning jog in City Creek Canyon. He later allegedly admitted he shot her in the head as she slept and disposed of her body in a trash bin.

“We just felt that Mark obviously didn’t want her anymore,” Lori’s mother, Thelma Soares, said during a phone interview. Where Lori’s married name once was on the headstone is now engraved the Portuguese word “Filhinha,” which translates to “little daughter.”

Mark Hacking’s parents were notified of the change, made more than a month ago, and understood, Soares said. Saturday, Soares donated decorative angels sent to her from all over the United States to be used as Christmas ornaments at the Christmas Box House, a temporary shelter for abused and neglected children.

“I tried to think of an appropriate way to share them and the love they represent,” she said.

Children at the Christmas Box House decorated a 12-foot tree, Soares said. A picture of Lori was also placed in the branches. Creating the angel tree memorial for Lori seemed appropriate because Soares’ nickname for her daughter was “Angel Baby,” she said.

“It’s gorgeous,” she said of the tree.

Mark Hacking pleads 'not guilty'

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that Mark Hacking didn't have the balls to plead guilty and be done with it.

I'm sorry for Lori Hacking's family. If there can be any good from this, perhaps it'll be that Mark Hacking eventually feels impelled to disclose the full story of Lori's death, which might help put the Soares' minds at ease.

Entire story below, exactly as it appeared on the Trib's site.

Continue reading "Mark Hacking pleads 'not guilty'" »


Utah brewers get a taste of success at beer festival

Entire Salt Lake Tribune story quoted below. I’ve added links to the breweries and restaurants in question, since the Trib doesn’t provide them in its stories.

Continue reading "Utah brewers get a taste of success at beer festival" »


Salt Lake Tribune: Lori Hacking's body released to her family

The state Office of the Medical Examiner has released the body of Lori Hacking to her family, which is planning a private burial.

Family members took custody of the body on Tuesday, police said.

"They're very pleased and relieved to have received Lori's body back," said family spokesman David Gehris.

Gehris said the the woman's mother, Thelma Soares, of Orem, and her father, Eraldo Soares, of Fullerton, Calif., are planning a private burial ceremony at Orem City Cemetery, where a headstone has already been erected.

Lori Hacking's body was found Friday at the Salt Lake County landfill following a 10-week search.

Although the office of the medical examiner has completed its autopsy, it has not delivered its written report to police and prosecutors, who this week refused to disclose the manner and cause of Lori Hacking's death.

Authorities believe she was shot to death July 19 by her husband, Mark Hacking, and her body was placed in a Dumpster near the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Unit, where he worked.

Prosecutors say Mark Hacking killed his wife to prevent disclosure of his deceptions about his college career and medical school.

After Lori was reported missing, family members learned Hacking had not been accepted to medical school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as he had claimed, and had not graduated from the University of Utah. The couple were planning to move to North Carolina within days of Lori's disappearance.

Mark Hacking is charged with murder and obstruction of justice in Lori's death. He is scheduled for an arraignment Oct. 29 before 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg.

Salt Lake papers' stories on discovery of Lori Hacking's remains

Links only for now; I'll include story quotations later.

Deseret Morning News:

Salt Lake Tribune:


CNN.com: Remains of missing Utah woman found in landfill

(CNN)—Dental records confirmed that human remains found in a Salt Lake County landfill Friday are those of Lori Hacking, a Salt Lake Police spokesman told CNN.

Lori Hacking
Lori Hacking
The "heavily decomposed" remains were found Friday morning by people searching for the body of the 27-year-old Utah woman missing since July 19, Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse said.

Officers from several police agencies and cadaver dogs have searched the landfill about four days a week since August.

It took just a few hours Friday before investigators were certain the remains were those of Hacking, whose husband has admitted to fatally shooting her, said Salt Lake Police spokesman Phil Eslinger.

Mark Hacking, Lori's husband, said he shot his wife in the head with a .22-caliber rifle as she slept and wrapped her body in garbage bags before disposing of it in a garbage bin, Salt Lake District Attorney David Yocom said in August.

Hacking was charged in August with his wife's murder, along with three counts of obstruction of justice. An arraignment is scheduled for October 29.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Stott said finding Lori Hacking will strengthen the prosecution's case.

Yocom said Hacking confessed to his two brothers while he was being treated at a mental ward of a hospital in the days after the killing. Hacking also said he disposed of the body, the murder weapon and the mattress in separate garbage bins.

The district attorney said Hacking decided to kill his wife after she discovered he was not enrolled in medical school in North Carolina, where the couple had planned to move.

"The defendant stated that in the early morning hours of July 19th, he walked into the bedroom where his wife slept and shot her in the head with a .22-caliber rifle," Yocom said.

"He further stated that he wrapped Lori's body in garbage bags, placed the body in the Dumpster at approximately 2 a.m. And then, he further stated that he disposed of the gun in another Dumpster."

According to Yocom, Hacking also said he used a knife to slice up the mattress and discarded it in another garbage bin. The mattress and knife have been recovered.

If convicted, Hacking could be sentenced a minimum of five years to life in prison on the murder charge and one to 15 years in prison for each of the three obstruction charges.

CNN.com: Breaking banner indicates Lori Hacking's remains confirmed

CNN.com breaking-news header confirms Lori Hacking's remains discoveredThe banner that began appearing on the CNN.com home page a moment ago (click to view full-size in a new window):

Also just saw an update on the KSL-TV main page: Police Confirm Remains Belong to Lori Hacking.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

UPDATE 16:14: The Salt Lake Tribune's just put a link to their own story about the discovery on their main page.


Lori Hacking update: Wed 09/15/04

It's been just shy of one month since I made any new entries about the Lori Hacking case. Included below are two stories from today's Salt Lake Tribune with the latest developments: Thelma Soares' appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show; and changes to methods used for searching the Salt Lake County landfill for Lori's remains.

Continue reading "Lori Hacking update: Wed 09/15/04" »


Revelations among the Sunday news whoring

The couple of local news stories I found post-worthy today came from the Deseret Morning News.

I used to consider the D-News the less worthy of the two Salt Lake City newspapers. This is largely because with a name like “Deseret News,” I figured the paper would always experience improper influence from the LDS Church. However, in the few months I’ve been back in Salt Lake and have been reading both papers fairly regularly, I must say I prefer the Deseret News’ coverage of most events.

For one thing, the D-News’ reporters tend actually to ask pertinent questions of their sources as they’re putting together stories, so the stories have useful information in them. There’s also less of the If I were to subscribe to daily delivery of a Salt Lake paper, it’d be—I never thought I’d say this—the Deseret Morning News.tendency to go for the weepy angle in stories—although the recent Lori Hacking coverage was a bit on the heavy-handed, “we’ll tell you what your emotions are” side in the D-News’ later stories, it was pretty well balanced over its entire course, and by the time the stories got more weepy, that was the story anyway. The same is true of the later coverage in the Garrett Bardsley disappearance, but again that’s the story now, and the coverage has been tasteful without being intrusive or manipulative.

Ultimately, however, the Deseret News is simply a better-edited paper. I’ve spotted a few typos here and there, certainly—try creating a from-scratch publication every single day and see if you manage to avoid all typographical errors; it’s a gargantuan task no matter how many copy editors you sic on it each time—but the writing is better and the editors appear actually to read the stories they’re editing.

Furthermore, the online edition of the D-News isn’t an afterthought, unlike the Salt Lake Tribune’s horrible online edition. The Deseret News’ online edition leaves some things to be desired—every newspaper’s electronic edition is like this—but it’s not put together from the first round of electronic proofs the way the Trib’s online editions seem to be, so fewer errors appear overall anyway.

If I were to subscribe to daily delivery of a Salt Lake paper, it’d be—I never thought I’d say this—the Deseret Morning News.


Salt Lake Tribune: A father weeps as hopes dim for boy

This situation began Friday morning, but this is the first time the Trib's online edition has deigned to include a photograph of the boy in one of its articles. A story in yesterday's online edition included a view of a photo that was part of a MISSING poster taped to a hiking-trail sign or something similar.

Lori Hacking's "missing" stories included direct photographs of her (several different shots, in fact) from the first day. I wonder why the differences in coverage?

I've included the entire text of the story, along with the photos in their approximate locations from the Trib's story page.

Continue reading "Salt Lake Tribune: A father weeps as hopes dim for boy" »


Salt Lake Tribune: Hacking appears in court; prelim hearing set

Wearing a bulletproof vest and flanked by seven bailiffs, Mark Douglas Hacking came to court for the first time Monday but did not speak as his preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 23.

Mark Hacking, charged in the murder of his wife Lori Hacking, appears before judge William W. Barrett in Salt Lake City court on Monday morning alongside his lawyer D. Gilbert Athay for a brief scheduling hearing. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune)
Mark Hacking, charged in the murder of his wife Lori Hacking, appears before judge William W. Barrett in Salt Lake City court on Monday morning alongside his lawyer D. Gilbert Athay for a brief scheduling hearing.
Francisco Kjolseth, The Salt Lake Tribune
Hacking, 28, is charged with first-degree felony murder for allegedly killing his wife, 27-year-old Lori Hacking.

In an interview after court, defense attorney D. Gilbert Athay said there will be no quick resolution of Hacking's murder case.

"In all cases, plea bargains are something that are talked about, but we're certainly not in that position right now," Athay said.

"That decision will be made after a complete and full review of the discovery" evidence assembled by prosecutors, he said. "I don't even have it all, and probably won't for another three weeks.

"Until all the discovery has been examined, it's totally improper to be talking about plea negotiations."

Athay said he is also trying to find out as much about Hacking as possible.

"We need to know—from the time he was a little boy until today—everything about him," Athay said. "Who is this guy? What is he all about?"

Of particular interest to Athay is a head injury Hacking suffered earlier in his 20s, during a fall while working on a roof, because evidence of brain damage could support an argument for reduced charges.

After the hearing before 3rd District Judge William Barrett, prosecutor Robert Stott told news reporters he and Athay were not discussing a plea. "The only thing we've negotiated about was the preliminary hearing date," he said.

Mark Hacking, charged in the murder of his wife Lori Hacking, leaves court in shackles following his brief scheduling hearing before judge William W. Barrett in Salt Lake City court on Monday morning. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune)
Mark Hacking, charged in the murder of his wife Lori Hacking, leaves court in shackles following his brief scheduling hearing before judge William W. Barrett in Salt Lake City court on Monday morning.
Francisco Kjolseth, The Salt Lake Tribune
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a crime occurred and that the defendant committed it.

According to charging documents—which rely heavily upon Hacking's confession to his brothers—Hacking shot his wife in the head as she slept in their Salt Lake City apartment on July 19. Hacking allegedly disposed of her body in a Dumpster, which was picked up that morning by a trash hauler and dumped at the Salt Lake County Landfill.

Police planned to continue to search the landfill for Lori Hacking's body Monday night, the 15th day that cadaver dogs and police officers have scoured the 2-plus acres of garbage that were cordoned off July 20. The search will be discontinued until Friday, primarily to allow the dogs to rest.

Prosecutors believe Hacking killed his wife because she had discovered his numerous lies, including false claims that he had graduated from the University of Utah and been accepted to a North Carolina medical school.

Hacking's use of a bulletproof vest during his court appearance Monday was unusual, said defense attorney Stephen McCaughey, who has represented several people charged with capital murder. "I've never had a defendant brought to court in a bulletproof vest," he said.

But Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Rosie Rivera called it "standard procedure" in a high-profile case where the defendant is also in protective custody at the maximum-security area of the jail.

Inmates are placed in protective custody when they are perceived to be a danger to themselves or could be targeted by other inmates because of intense media coverage.

"They are in their own cell and are let out one hour per day to take care of their business—shower or make phone calls. And when they go to court appearances, medical appointments or anything else, they wear bulletproof vests," Rivera said.

She acknowledged there have been few cases requiring such extreme precautions. "But this [Hacking] was a murder case that went nationwide," she said.

Athay said he knew of no specific threats against Hacking's life, but said the vest was "probably a smart thing."

Hacking showed no expression Monday. But while coming and going from the courtroom, he scanned the gallery, apparently looking for a familiar face. No members of his family attended the hearing.

Athay said he met with Hacking late last week, as well as before court Monday "to prepare him. He's never been in a courtroom before in his life, except on video" for an arraignment last week.

Athay added: "Under the circumstances, he's doing very well." He said they had not discussed the Saturday memorial service for Lori Hacking, but said Hacking has some television access and may have seen news coverage.

Athay said he will not be asking for a reduction in Hacking's $1 million, cash-only bail. "In a case like this, you're wasting your time," he said.

Reduced charges a possibility because of this head injury, when it seems plainly evident Hacking was in full possession of his faculties when he shot his wife and then disposed of her body, the mattress on which he'd killed her, and the murder weapon? To say nothing of then trying to replace the mattress and reporting his dead wife missing, then maintaining the fiction for a period of days?

Come on!


Deseret Morning News: Hundreds celebrate Lori's life

OREM—On the day she went home with her adoptive family, Lori Kay Soares wore a little pink dress, a white-lace bonnet and clutched a pink-and-white stuffed rabbit. She was 3 months old and her constant companion was a pacifier.

Thelma Soares, center, walks with nieces Jane, left, and Kathy Black at a service for Lori Hacking at an LDS stake center in Orem Saturday. (Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News)
Thelma Soares, center, walks with nieces Jane, left, and Kathy Black at a service for Lori Hacking at an LDS stake center in Orem Saturday.
Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News
At age 4, as a church receipt shows, Lori tithed a penny for each year of her life and gave it faithfully.

As she grew she played on baseball teams, went to school dances and traveled the country, sometimes spontaneously, like the night she took a red-eye flight to New York City just to spend her New Year's Eve birthday in Times Square. In college, she served as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C., before graduating with honors from the University of Utah. Then she married her high school sweetheart, Mark, and became Lori Hacking.

Saturday, those moments from Lori Hacking's life were celebrated and memorialized in pictures, words and music by friends and family at the Windsor LDS Stake Center in Orem.

Lori Hacking was apparently killed sometime the morning of July 19, shot while she slept in her Salt Lake apartment. She was 27.

Her husband, Mark Hacking, 28, is accused of the crime and his been charged with first-degree felony murder for allegedly shooting his wife and then leaving her body in a Dumpster near the U. Her body has not been found.

Mark Hacking is in the Salt Lake County Jail being held on $1 million bail and was not at the service. The rest of his family, however, did attend, with his father, Douglas Hacking, offering the invocation.

"We've all been touched by her in some way, and we appreciate the time she has been here on this earth," Douglas Hacking said during the prayer, momentarily looking down from the podium at Thelma and Eraldo Soares, Lori's parents, who were sitting side by side in the first pew.

Tiffany Carpenter with brother Lance Hacking and his wife, Stephanie. (Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News)
Tiffany Carpenter with brother Lance Hacking and his wife, Stephanie.
Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News
"I knew Lori after she lost the pacifier and put on the spark," said Jack Christianson, whose daughter, Rebecca, was one of Lori's closest high school friends. "She really outgrew the pacifier—she was a little spitfire. She was so funny. She'd let you know how she felt. And as some have said today, I don't think she'd want to be deified.

"She wasn't perfect, but she was working on it, just like the rest of us."

Lori would indeed have been uncomfortable with the fuss made over her life Saturday, her brother Paul Soares said. The thousands who searched for her in the days after she was reported missing and the hundreds who packed the LDS meetinghouse to pay their respects would have puzzled her as well.

"She was very private. She was one who kept everything inside of her, but she was very conscious of others' feelings," Paul Soares said. "She was someone who cared about others."

Recounting a day they spent together in Washington, D.C., Soares relished his sister's zest for life, her love of travel and adventure, her dedication to school, her kindness and compassion.

"I had such pride and joy in knowing she was my little sister," he said.

Saturday's service was incomplete only in that police have yet to recover Lori's remains. Thus a "memorial service," as her family is as yet unable to hold a funeral and burial.

Police searched a Salt Lake landfill a dozen times—including overnight Friday and Saturday—but have yet to locate Lori's body or the .22-caliber rifle they believe was used in the killing.

Searches by police using search dogs will "continue until it's finished," Salt Lake City police detective Dwayne Baird said outside the chapel on Saturday.

"We have lots of material to go through out there at the landfill, and we're just doing it as best as we can, making sure that we don't leave anything unturned."

Baird said he attended the service because he had come to know both the Soares and Hacking families well over the past month. "We don't have any schedule where we say that it's over in any given time frame. It will be a situation where we continue ... until we find her."

Police remain confident they are searching in the right location, Baird added. About 4,200 tons of garbage was dumped at the landfill on July 19 and, as of several days ago, police had sorted through only a fraction of that. He said he was not at liberty to discuss possible contingency plans.

If Mark Hacking indeed killed his wife, as prosecutors say and as Mark himself has allegedly confessed to his brothers Lance and Scott, then it might seem strange that his family has remained so closely tied to Lori's family or that Douglas Hacking would be asked to pray at his daughter-in-law's memorial.

But there is no blaming or bitterness between the Soares and the Hacking families, Christianson said after the service.

"Both families have a deep religious conviction that they share," he said making reference to the fact that both families are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "We teach forgiveness and we teach love."

Douglas and Janet Hacking attend services for Lori Hacking Saturday. (Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News)
Douglas and Janet Hacking attend services for Lori Hacking Saturday.
Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News
Both Christianson and Windsor LDS Stake President Scott Dunaway touched on the idea of forgiveness in their memorial service remarks.

"The world has been in awe of the love and compassion you have shown for one another," said Dunaway, who served as a spokesman for both families during the past few weeks. "What an example of living the gospel of Jesus Christ."

In the days since Lori was reported missing, the nation has watched and wept along with the families, Dunaway noted.

"I think for all of us Lori has become a daughter, a sister, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, a niece," he said. "We feel something of the hurt that these families feel in her loss."

Also during the service, a letter expressing condolences from the LDS Church First Presidency was read to the families. Elder W. Grant Bangerter, an emeritus member of the Quorum of the Seventy, also spoke.

Deseret Morning News: Grief, anger, love fill mother's heart

Copyright 2004 Deseret Morning News

OREM—It was the Thursday after Lori Hacking was reported missing and Thelma Soares, Lori's mother, had gone to the hospital to see her son-in-law, Mark.

At the time it seemed that Mark Hacking had collapsed with grief over the disappearance of his newly pregnant wife. He was undergoing psychological testing at the University of Utah Medical Center and had been incoherent when Soares first visited two days before.

Miles away, volunteers were combing the hillsides above City Creek Canyon and nearby neighborhoods looking for any trace of Lori, the girl with the wide smile and the cascade of curly brown hair.

But a day earlier, police had revealed that Mark Hacking had lied about his plans to attend medical school in North Carolina, and there was growing suspicion about whether his pretty wife would be found.

Mark was standing with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders when Soares entered the room.

"I hugged him and said, 'Marky, didn't you know my love was not conditional on your becoming a doctor? It was because of you, Mark, and how you treated Lori,'" Soares said in an interview with the Deseret Morning News. "And he kind of sobbed ... and he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I promise, I promise I had nothing to do with it.'

"I desperately wanted to believe him," Soares goes on. "But I didn't. I had this uneasy feeling. I did desperately want to, because I love him ... , but I just knew he wasn't telling the truth."

'A sweet baby'
Lori became Soares' adoptive daughter on April 21, 1977. The wait for Lori was at least two years. Soares can't remember exactly but said that she and her then-husband, Eraldo Soares, had first inquired about the adoption when their first child, Paul, who is also adopted, was about 4. Paul was 7 when Lori came home.

"I can't remember who picked her up first; it was probably me," Soares said. "She was such a sweet baby. She had this hair from the beginning. It was dark and curly and grew really fast. When we'd walk in the mall with her everyone would say they had to stop and look at the baby with all the hair. Finally I had to cut it because it was too thick and too curly, even to part it, and she cried."

Soares still has remnants of that first haircut, a long brown braid in an envelope that bears Lori's name.

In fact, Soares has safeguarded many keepsakes from her daughter's life. Lori's pictures, awards, dolls and other mementos were on display Saturday at the memorial service for the former stockbroker's assistant, held at the Windsor LDS Stake Center in Orem. In one corner were her tiny brown rocking chair, stuffed animals and childhood books, in the other her beaded wedding dress.

Lori Hacking is believed to have been killed July 19 while asleep in the Salt Lake apartment she shared with her husband.

Prosecutors have charged Mark Hacking with first-degree murder in connection with his wife's death. In an alleged confession to his older brothers, Mark Hacking said he shot his wife with a .22-caliber rifle and then abandoned her body in a Dumpster, the contents of which were taken to the Salt Lake County landfill. Her body has not been found.

"She's on the cover. She's on the latest edition of People magazine, sister," Thelma Soares is saying to the woman on the other end of the telephone as she shakes her head and breaks into tears. "Lori's picture is on the cover."

The words sound like both a statement and a question.

'The Mark I know'
At the moment, Soares says, she has many questions.

"The best news I could get is that (Mark) has a brain tumor or brain injury or something that would make him do this. I'm just really speechless; I have no way to explain it," she said: "Unless he's this evil guy. ... He was helpful. A generous spirit. He seemed to care about people. He came and put all of my Christmas lights up every year. This is the Mark that I know, not this Mark who killed her and did this horrible thing."

The Mark Hacking who started buzzing around Lori Soares in high school was always a big teddy bear of a guy. He'd bang on the front door each time he'd call for Lori. On her birthday one year, Mark and another friend filled Lori's bedroom with balloons and silly string.

He was a polite boy from a good family who once wrote Soares a note that read: "If I didn't have my own mother, I'd choose you to be my mother."

"Maybe he was schmoozing because he wanted Lori," Soares ponders. "But maybe not."

The coffee table in the living room of Soares' Orem home is covered with sympathy cards and vases of flowers. Outside, the tan siding is dotted with yellow ribbons tied in bows. On the front door, a polite note reads, "Thelma is resting," and begs the visitor to respect the 66-year-old woman's privacy.

Soares is grieving but somehow seems calm as she pads around house in her bare feet, her toenails painted bright pink.

When she speaks of Lori, she glows.

"We kept an orthodontist in business for several years. She was beautiful," Soares says and then begins to tick off the list of Lori's accomplishments.

An award from a kindergarten teacher for best bookmark. In sixth grade, Lori's first full school year in Utah after her parents divorced and she and Thelma moved here from Fullerton, Calif., she was a finalist for the Hope of America award. She was also elected president of her ninth-grade class.

Lori excelled in other arenas as well. She played piano and took ballet lessons. She loved to swim and Rollerblade. She took up running later after marrying Mark, Soares said.

From an early age, Lori had plenty of determination and specific goals. For a while, she even set her sights on attending Stanford University.

"She couldn't understand why anybody wouldn't want to go to college. That was always part of her plan," Soares said. "She said, 'I want to be independent like you are so that if anything happens I'll be able to take care of myself.'"

Weber State University was Lori's first collegiate destination, but after a year, she transferred to the University of Utah, Soares said.

'Web of lies'
There were plenty of young men to choose from, but Lori seemed to have her heart set on Mark, whom she had met on a high school trip to Lake Powell. From the first she said she was comfortable with Mark. They could talk about anything.

Married on Aug. 7, 1999, Lori and Mark seemed like the happiest of couples, Soares said. They supported each other's interests, alternately going to the Broadway-type theater productions Lori enjoyed and taking camping trips in Utah's wilderness, which was Mark's love.

"They did that in their marriage," Soares said, adding that Mark was the more demonstrative of the two, but that the couple was affectionate. "It wasn't perfect, you know, and maybe sometimes she would be the one to raise her voice, but she loved him. If ever there was anything that I would wonder about Mark, she would defend him."

If Lori had ever learned about Mark's now well-known deceptions or failures—like his LDS mission that was cut short, or the lies about his college graduation and medical school acceptance—she never let on, Soares said. She believes her daughter would have been devastated by such lies.

"I don't think Lori ever told a lie in her life," Soares said.

But it seems Mark Hacking told more than a few, the extent of which might not yet be known. Court documents released Friday show police are looking at cell phone, computer and bank records in trying to establish a case, all of which could lead to new information and insights.

"This elaborate web of lies, that takes a lot of thinking to do that. It wasn't that he lacked the intellect, he was always very smart," Soares said, adding that she wonders if Mark's actions might be traced to a fall he took from a roof about eight years ago while working a construction job. Mark, she said, apparently hit his head on a cement floor during the fall.

"As I sit here trying to make some semblance of sense of this, it's the only thing I could come up with," Soares said. "It's hard for me to believe that he's this evil because the Mark I know is just the opposite of that. All of my interaction and experience with him says it's not so. He's this sweet, gentle, quiet, funny guy."

'I do want justice'
Still, Thelma Soares is angry.

"I am angry at what he did to her, and that he left her to rot in this terrible place," she said. "And you know, there are moments when I just want to tear his heart out with my bare hands, but what good would it do?"

That prosecutors didn't charge Mark with a capital crime is all right with Soares.

"I don't want to be the person that sends him to the death chamber," she said. "I do want justice. He needs to pay for what he did to Lori. If that means a life sentence, that's fine with me."

No one should ever think that Mark's actions have divided Soares and any other member of the Hacking family, she is quick to add. The families have remained close in the weeks since Lori disappeared, and Mark's father, Douglas Hacking, said the opening prayer at Lori's memorial service Saturday.

With Mark's future in the hands of the judicial system—a court hearing is scheduled for Monday—Soares is filled with compassion for his parents, Douglas and Janet.

"As anguished and heartbroken as I am about Lori, I think they are facing a more difficult future than I am, because he's their son. You can't turn your love off and on like a faucet," Soares said. "I'm sure the Hackings would give their life for Mark. He's their child, and they still love him."

Soares is finding comfort in her religious convictions and says she is certain that Lori is at peace. She also hopes that time in prison might give Mark time to repent his crimes.

"In my way of belief, what he did was about as bad as it gets. He took two lives, and if he doesn't repent of this then his eternal future looks pretty bleak," said Soares. "I hope that isn't the case because there is good in Mark. Somewhere down in there, there's this person that I knew and and have known and loved like a son.

"There's man's law and there's God's law, and those are quite often two different things," she adds. "I have no doubt in my mind and in my heart that he will receive the judgment from God that he deserves."

I'm past the point of offering any commentary on the articles related to this case. My main purpose is to have an archive of the content separate from its original source; many of the newspapers' archives require paid access for anything older than 30 days, so this site will function as a free-access archive for at least excerpts of the stories.


Deseret Morning News: 'We love him no matter what'

Family visits Hacking in jail; more court documents released

SOUTH SALT LAKE—It's been nearly two weeks since Lance Hacking last saw his brother Mark. It was Aug. 2, the day Mark Hacking was arrested for allegedly killing his wife—a crime his family says Mark confessed to his brothers, who then took that information to police.

Lance Hacking leaves the Salt Lake County Jail with his wife, Stephanie, and Wyatt, their baby (Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News)
Lance Hacking leaves the Salt Lake County Jail with his wife, Stephanie, and Wyatt, their baby
Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News
Friday night, Lance Hacking went to the Salt Lake County Jail for a visit with Mark, one day after their parents, Janet and Douglas Hacking, had visited.

He wanted, Lance Hacking said, to let Mark know that he is still loved and that the shared decision he and brother Scott Hacking had made to reveal Mark's confession was intended as an act of love.

"He understood that we acted out of choosing what we felt was the right thing to do and he understands that we felt that our actions were also guided toward helping him heal," Lance Hacking said after a 30-minute visit with Mark. "Scott and I still believe that and our family still believes that, and I think that Mark also believes that we acted out of love."

Meanwhile, court documents released Friday offer a glimpse into how prosecutors are building their case against Mark Hacking. The documents show that through subpoenas police obtained computer, cell phone, bank and credit card records for the couple, in particular for activity during the time period after July 19, when Lori was reported missing.

Mark Hacking is charged with first-degree criminal homicide and three counts of obstruction of justice in 3rd District Court. Bail is set at $1 million. Under jail guidelines, he is allowed two 30-minute visits each week, the first of which was Thursday with his parents.

Mark Hacking is accused of shooting his wife, Lori, in the head with a .22-caliber rifle as she slept during the early morning hours of July 19. He then allegedly put her body in a Dumpster near the University of Utah.

Salt Lake City police were back at the Salt Lake landfill for the 11th time Friday night looking for Lori's body. So far, nothing of consequence has been found, police detective Kevin Joiner said Friday.

A memorial service for Lori Soares Hacking is planned for 11 a.m. today in Orem.

"I think it will help with a little bit of closure to help us feel we can really honor Lori," said Stephanie Hacking, Lance's wife, who came to the jail with her husband and 9-month-old son Wyatt.

Visiting the jail was a somber experience, Stephanie Hacking said, but the couple tried to keep the conversation focused on family and not on the criminal charges or court actions ahead.

"Our main goal is to let him know that our family is still here and that we absolutely love him and we are doing every thing we can to support him," Lance Hacking said. "As far as the case and everything go, we are content and happy to leave that with the judicial system and let that run its course. In the meantime, we will stand by him as a brother, and we will love him no matter what."

Lance Hacking said that the days since July 19 have been some of the most difficult his family has experienced, and those feelings are complicated by what the family feels is the double loss of Mark and Lori.

What Mark Hacking is now going through, "weighs heavy on our hearts as well," Lance Hacking said.

"There are certainly things that he has lied about which we didn't know about, but in terms of who Mark actually is on the inside, I still feel like we know him and love him," Lance Hacking said.

The family didn't pray together during their short visit, but Mark did express to his brother and sister-in-law that he had been engaged in prayer.

"I imagine he has a lot to pray about," Lance Hacking said.

Court records released Friday offered new insights into the investigation:
  • They indicate that police are investigating a Dallas-based phone number, which is somehow linked to the arrests of three Dallas residents who allegedly called that number and then used a stolen credit card to purchase airline tickets. Mark Hacking apparently called that same telephone number, but court documents do not establish any link between Hacking and the three people.

    The number, which the Deseret Morning News dialed Friday, is now disconnected, but was last registered to a Dallas woman.

  • Court records also confirm for the first time that police found a blood-stained mattress in the Dumpster at a church meetinghouse about one block from the Hacking's apartment, 127 S. Lincoln St. (945 East). Credit card records have already indicated that Mark Hacking purchased a new mattress from a South Salt Lake store 30 minutes after he first reported his wife missing to police.

  • Also confirmed by the affidavits is seizure of digitally recorded surveillance tapes from the University Neuropsychiatric Unit that apparently show Mark Hacking dumping an object into a trash bin behind the facility. Police are looking specifically at recordings made between midnight and noon on July 19.

  • Similarly, video images have also been obtained from a local convenience store, where both Mark and Lori were seen the Sunday night prior to her death, and where Mark returned about 1 a.m. for a pack of cigarettes. Additional surveillance tape was sought from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where cameras near Temple Square point toward roads that access Memory Grove, the location Mark had originally told police Lori had gone for a morning run.